The schedule for the 2019-2020 season has officially been released. Coming off of 42 win season a year ago, is it possible for the Brooklyn Nets to take a significant leap and win 60 games? The path starts now.
It’s further within the realm of possibility than it may seem, but if it seems like a daunting task, it’s because it is. The expectations for the Kevin Durant-less Brooklyn Nets this season are reasonably lower than they would be if he were suiting up. The majority of the media and work load will be on the shoulders of Kyrie Irving.
The 2018-2019 season was a roller coaster for Nets fans, as they were consistently going on large losing streaks, then win streaks, then rinse and repeat. So, taking a glance at the schedule for the upcoming season, let’s take a look at how the Brooklyn Nets can take a significant leap.
Brooklyn got out to an abysmal 8-18 start at the beginning of last year’s campaign, and after sealing an eight game losing streak at home against Oklahoma City in early December, something changed. The Nets went on a seven game winning streak, and maintained a record of 20-5 over their next 25 games. The reason this is significant, is it’s important to note that yes, the Nets can go through some cold stretches like any team, but conversely they can catch fire just as quickly.
The Brooklyn Nets saw a slight increase in success at home rather than on the road last season,(as is the case with most teams) and they finished with a home record of 23-18 and a road record of 19-22. Let’s now take some time to review the logistics of the 2019-2020 schedule.
As it was pointed out by Twitter user @APOOCH, The Brooklyn Nets have twenty nationally televised games next season, which doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise, as there has been a paradigm shift in the city of New York. They also play eleven back-to-back’s, and what’s significant about that is the Nets travel for ten of them, meaning they’re only home for both games once.
The reason it was important to note the Nets road record last season is because of the five game road trip Brooklyn will have in November. Remember, this is the stretch last season that Brooklyn fell apart and got off to a rocky start, so it’s imperative for Kyrie Irving to come up huge in those games.
In order to achieve a monumental season of 60 or more wins, a team has to go on several unbeatable runs. This is something that we can unfortunately say will be difficult for the Brooklyn Nets as it stands, as they only have one stretch of games where they play four teams consecutively who missed the playoffs last season. However, they do also have three stretches where they play three teams in a row under the same aforementioned criteria.
Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson will have plenty of talent to work with this season. Joe Harris has grown accustomed to hitting clutch shots in the fourth quarter, Jarrett Allen is the rim protector every team wishes they had, Spencer Dinwiddie is always a preseason candidate for Sixth Man of the Year, and Kyrie is.. Well, he’s Kyrie. There will be no shortage of players that Kenny can run his sets through down the stretch of any game.
As if to mimic what the Nets did last season to an extent, looking at the first 20 games of their schedule, it is entirely believable that Brooklyn could jump out to a hot start at 15-5. Out of their first 20 games, ten of them are against teams that didn’t make the playoffs, and two of them are against the Detroit Pistons, a fringe team last season.
It’s a “control your own destiny” type season for the Brooklyn Nets, as simple as it sounds you just have to consistently beat the teams that you’re supposed to beat. As for their December through January stretch, only twelve of their twenty-eight games are against former lottery teams, so they’ll need all the early help that they can get.
With a second unit that is being severely underrated around media outlets, and a 33-1 odds MVP candidate in Kyrie Irving, you really have to consider the damage this team could do if entirely healthy. 75 or more games of a healthy Kyrie Irving could be lethal to the rest of the league.
At the end of the day, whatever the Brooklyn Nets achieve or do not achieve at the end of this season will not be indicative of what their future holds, because of one reason.
Dread it, run from it, destiny arrives all the same. Kevin Durant will return.